Estonia's new PM holds 1st video meeting with Finnish counterpart

  • 2021-01-26
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas introduced the objectives of the new Estonian government to her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin in a video call on Tuesday; the two heads of government also discussed cross-border travel between Estonia and Finland.

Kallas said that it is of symbolic significance that her first call during her term in office was with the Finnish prime minister as Finland is not just a neighbor to Estonia but also a close friend and relative.

"A very European-oriented government has just taken office in Estonia -- one that holds communication with its close partners in high regard. Our most urgent shared concerns are the COVID-19 pandemic and containing the spread of the infection while keeping movement of workers between our states as open as possible. Border-crossing procedure with Finland is to become stricter from tomorrow; however, I affirmed to Marin that the Estonian government is ready to continue negotiations towards expanding the options of travelers," Kallas was quoted by government spokespeople as saying.

Detailed proposals will be submitted to the Finnish government by the two states' joint work group on COVID-19.

Kallas also introduced to Marin the plans of the new Estonian government and key goals in the coalition agreement.

"In addition to curbing the spread of the pandemic, we also prioritize stronger relations with our closest neighbors and allies, striving for climate neutrality, digital development, resolving the economic crisis and pursuing budgetary balance. We will definitely also engage in cooperation in the European Union during our pursuit of these goals," she said.

Kallas told Marin that she is ready to visit Finland at the earliest opportunity.